Born in Buenos Aires on 24 December 1931, Mauricio Kagel was self-taught as a composer, taking his degree in philosophy and literature at the University of Buenos Aires. From his earliest pieces (around 1950), he was actively opposed to the neo-classical Conservatism openly favoured by the Perón government, while an anti-establishment intent is similarly evident in the numerous articles and reviews that were written for the journal Nueva Visión. Kagel headed to West Germany on a DAAD scholarship in 1957, soon settling in Cologne, where he worked with all the main new music organizations and performing bodies. He was active as a conductor, writer and teacher, and his honours included the Mozart Medal of Frankfurt, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Bundesverdienst Orden First Class, as well as membership of the Berlin Academy of Arts. Retrospectives of his music and films have been held throughout Europe and also in North America. Kagel died in Cologne on 18 September 2008.
Courtesy of Richard Whitehouse